2023 in pictures

Alan Cai

January 5, 2024

2023 was a year like no other. Let's see it in visuals.

February 4 - A suspected Chinese spy balloon is shot down after flying over the continent, including parts of the contiguous United States, since at least January 28. The subsequent diplomatic confrontation, during which China claimed that it was not a spy balloon, forced the world to brace for the possibility of escalation.

February - A Norfolk Southern train derails in East Palestine, Ohio, triggering fears and increasing scrutiny over railroad safety and regulations. Hazardous materials on board contaminated local communities.

February 7 - NBA legend Lebron James breaks the all-time scoring record, reaching a career cumulative total of over 38,387 points for the first time in league history. For reference, James has only received one scoring title(award for highest points per game for a season) during the 2007-2008 season.

March 10 - The National People's Congress of China unanimously reelects President Xi Jinping to an unprecedented third term.

March 17 - The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Although showcasing a powerful message of international unity, the arrest warrant had little immediate effect.

March - Taylor Swift launches the largely successful Eras Tour, catapulting her into the international spotlight.

March - Silicon Valley Bank fails, triggering financial turmoil leading to the collapse of First Republic Bank later in May.

May - Hollywood screenwriters go on strike, causing a months-long film and television delay.

June 18 - The Titan submersible, carrying five passengers including operating company OceanGate's American CEO Stockton Rush, French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, British businessman Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, and his son Suleman tragically perishes in an underwater implosion while journeying to view the Titanic. The ensuing rescue attempts mobilized international governments and organizations.

June 22 - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to a joint session of Congress, an occasion reserved for only the most esteemed and prestigious guests of the United States.

June - The Russian mercenary Wagner Group, led by former Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, rebels against Russian authority in a failed coup attempt.

July 21 - Pop culture phenomenon movie Barbie and Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer are released on the same day causing a global movie-watching frenzy.

August - The Hawaiian island of Maui is struck by a series of wildfires, causing widespread devastation and a period of healing.

September 8 - Queen Elizabeth II of England, who played an enormous role in shaping global culture and politics throughout her 70-year reign, the longest in English history and second longest(after Louis XIV) in recorded history, passes away peacefully at Balmoral Castle at age 96.

October 3 - United States House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy is ousted for the first time in the office's history in an effort led by fellow Republican Matt Gaetz in response to debt ceiling negotiations.

October 7 - The Israel-Hamas war begins.

October 7 - The Brutus Journal updates its App for the first time, enhancing security and reader comfort.

November 29 - Henry Kissinger; World War II survivor, former Secretary of State, and foreign policy pioneer passes away at age 100. His diplomatic intellect and methodical prudence were respected by leaders of both political parties.